The Marquis of Westmarch

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ISBN 9780571322541 Format Paperback
9780571322541
Paperback
Published 27/11/2014 Length 272 pages
272

About Book

The Marquis of Westmarch (1989) was Frances Vernon's fifth novel, and perhaps her most original and richly imagined work, fit to stand comparison with Théophile Gautier's famous gender-bending historical romance Mademoiselle de Maupin (1835).

Its protagonist is Meriel Longmaster, a handsome and well-liked nobleman who conceals a secret known only to the loyal steward who has known him since youth. Meriel begins to feel the need to confide that secret in another, while sensing, rightly, that this will have dire consequences.

'A book which combines the narrative excitement of Georgette Heyer with the sexual premises of Germaine Greer ... a provocative and lively presentation of feminist issues.' Caroline Brandenburger, Independent

'A fantastic, haunting, and extremely well-written story of love and death.' Philippa Toomey, The Times

The Marquis of Westmarch (1989) was Frances Vernon's fifth novel, and perhaps her most original and richly imagined work, fit to stand comparison with Théophile Gautier's famous gender-bending historical romance Mademoiselle de Maupin (1835). Its protagonist is Meriel Longmaster, a handsome and well-liked nobleman who conceals a secret known only to the loyal steward who has known him since youth. Meriel begins to feel the need to confide that secret in another, while sensing, rightly, that this will have dire consequences. 'A book which combines the narrative excitement of Georgette Heyer with the sexual premises of Germaine Greer ... a provocative and lively presentation of feminist issues.' Caroline Brandenburger, Independent 'A fantastic, haunting, and extremely well-written story of love and death.' Philippa Toomey, The Times
  • About Frances Vernon

    Frances Vernon was born on December 1 1963, and raised on the Sudbury Estate in Derbyshire. At the age of 18 she embarked upon a writing career, and would complete six novels in the space of ten years. Privileged Children (1982) won the Author’s Club Award for Best First Novel, and the Daily Express praised its ‘genuine sparkle and invention.’ Gentleman and Players (1984) earned further glowing notices: in the Guardian Robert Nye predicted that ‘Frances Vernon should become a cult figure.’ The Bohemian Girl followed in 1985, A Desirable Husband in 1987, The Marquis of Westmarch in 1989.

    Frances Vernon’s untimely death in 1991, aged just 27, was felt by all who knew her and her work to be especially poignant. Her final novel, The Fall of Doctor Onslow, was published posthumously in July 1994. Lucasta Miller for the Independent hailed it as ‘both a tragic reminder of what she might have gone on to do, and a testimony to what she did achieve.’

    Faber Finds is privileged to reissue Frances Vernon’s entire oeuvre, each edition including a new preface in which her life and work are discussed in interview by her mother Sheila Vernon and her first cousin the photographer and author Michael Marten.

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